The West Coast has just endured its wettest May ever, smashing a 139-year-old record.

May 1877 had stood as the record of 561mm - until 9am yesterday when it was eclipsed by 8mm at the official rain gauge at Hokitika Airport.

A further 5mm of rain overnight pushed it out further to a whopping 574mm.

"It is the wettest May ever in Hokitika," weather observer Mark Crompton said.


"The average for May, which is one of the wettest months anyway alongside November, is 271mm," Mr Crompton said.

He noted that Hokitika had one of the oldest weather databases in New Zealand and rainfall had been measured there officially since 1866.

Although the Coast finally saw some sunshine today, he said a small amount of late or overnight rain could see the rainfall total reach 580mm before the month was out, tomorrow.

- Hokitika Guardian